OLPC and Sugar

laptop_for_learningI’ve been reading about the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project and especially about their new user interface, Sugar. I’m very impressed with the thinking that’s gone into this machine to make it suitable for classrooms. For me, the ideal classroom is filled with kids working on projects and learning as they go. As they figure something out, they exclaim to their friends, “Oh cool. Hey Johnny, check this out…” That enthusiasm makes the classroom buzz and the learning starts building it’s own momentum. At this point the children are the teachers as well as the learners, and you can almost feel their brains expanding and shifting to take in new knowledge.

Whereas regular computers are designed so a single person can do work on it, that paradigm doesn’t work so well for classrooms. The OLPC interface brings so many great ideas in such as collaboration among friends, sharing your work, and learning from your peers as well as a teacher. All these things are possible of course on your traditional Macintosh or Windows computer, but you need to make a special effort. The OLPC brings it to the fore, so it becomes a dominant theme. I’m very impressed, and hope to do some work in it in the future. By the way, they use Python to program it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *